first_imgWe may be Washington state, but this display of fiddling prowess will be full-on Texas.New at this year’s 149th annual Clark County Fair is the Washington State Fiddle Championship — which is actually an all-welcome, nationwide fiddle contest in what’s called the Texas style. That means lots of improvisation, lots of drive and excitement — lots of fire, according to organizer and champion fiddler Denice Carter.The Pendleton, Ore., native has been fiddling for four decades and teaching for three. She was long based in Denver, where she taught both fiddle and violin, and was the driving force behind the Colorado State Fiddle Championship, now in its 16th year at the National Western Stock Show and known as one of the top fiddle contests in the nation.Carter left Colorado and moved to Fisher’s Landing six years ago, she said; she was excited because “the Pacific Northwest has sort of become the hotbed of fiddling, with people like Mark O’Connor,” a Seattle native, leading the way for a whole new crop of fantastic players. “I know a lot of fiddle players in this part of the world,” she said. (Her daughter is Aarun Carter of Portland, who recently won the title “2017 Northwest Regional Fiddle Champion.”)And yet Carter, the founder and president of the still-busy Colorado Old Time Fiddlers’ Association, was disappointed to discover that the Washington Old Time Fiddlers’ Association appears to have slowed to a stop. (Nobody from the group responded to messages from The Columbian.) “Fiddling as an art form ebbs and flows,” Carter said.It took a few years of flirting, but organizers of the Clark County Fair eventually convinced Carter to start a new fiddling contest as part of their annual festivities. “It’s a lot of work, but I finally got talked into it,” Carter said. “We want to put fiddling back in the public eye, as much as possible.”last_img

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